Always Behind the Eight Ball

I feel like I’m always behind the eight ball.  Not only will I never get ahead, but I’m destined to remain behind, never quite able to keep up with everything.  Most days, I make the best of what I’ve got.  I don’t sweat the small stuff, the stuff over which I have no control.  Most days, I can find something to laugh about.  Most days, I don’t feel like crawling into bed, pulling the covers over my head, and staying there indefinitely.  Most days.

And then there are days like today.

“Mom, the honor roll breakfast starts at 7:30.  Are you almost ready?” Clay asked, worried that he was going miss his celebration.

“I’m going as fast as I can!” I snapped, grabbing my shoes and purse as I headed out the door.

As I sped down the street toward the school, Lexi complained, “You didn’t get me any snacks to bring to school.  I was supposed to bring in snacks for the party today.”

“Lexi, you need to tell me these things before we’re leaving for school!” I barked at her.

“I did!” she insisted.  “I told you yesterday.”

“Well, I suck!  I’m sorry, but I didn’t hear you.  Tell your teacher that your mom sucks,” I said in exasperation, starting to break down.

As I pulled up to the school, I noted that there were no parking spaces left.  Way to go, I told myself.  That’s what you get for being late, Dawn. I dropped off the kids and apologized to Clay, telling him I wouldn’t be able to come in for the honor roll breakfast because I had to drop off my car at the shop and get to work on time.  It had nothing to do with the fact that I couldn’t stop the tears that have been at the surface for days now.  It was the first time I can remember that I’ve ever missed any kind of special event for any of my kids.  Yep, Mother-of-the-Year right here.  Again.

I drove to the mechanic, feeling like crap for dropping the ball, upset that I might end up missing a day of work, and worried about what the mechanic would find when he looked at my car.  I knew I’d probably be sitting at the shop all day and figured I could at least work on some blog posts while I was there.  But did I remember to bring my computer as I was running out the door this morning?  No, of course not.

Then I got the news.  I can’t drive all the way to Chicago without fixing my car.  I hate to put more money into my car.  I don’t have any other choice.  Irony:  Needing your car fixed in order to drive it across the country, but spending the money on repairs makes it impossible to afford the trip.  Now, include the fact that I won’t be getting a paycheck for three months.  Yeah.  I’ve picked up some more writing gigs, but still . . .  It’s tough.

Sometimes it just feels like I’ll never be able to handle everything.  I’ll never be able to stay on top of things and take care of everything that needs to be taken care of.  I’ll never have enough resources to be able to keep up.  I know, I KNOW, that most of the world is in a worse position than I’m in.  I know I should be thankful for all that I have.  And I am.  I really am!  There are just those occasional days where I can’t help but wallow in self-pity.  And I don’t want or need anyone to fix things for me.  I don’t want or need anyone to solve my problems.  I just want to vent and have someone say, “Yeah, I hear ya.  Sometimes it just sucks.”  ‘Cause, you know what?  Sometimes it does suck.

Want to read more from Dawn? Get her books Because I Said So (and other tales from a less-than-perfect parent) and You’ll Lose the Baby Weight (and other lies about pregnancy and childbirth) here!

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